Gammons Has Spoken

At long last, confirmation from the one guy we kept waiting to hear it from:

The Red Sox bid $42 million for the right to negotiate with prized Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, sources told ESPN’s Peter Gammons. Boston’s bid far exceeded any other team’s offer.

And John Heyman, at SI, continues with the Sox-related news:

Boston, burning from its disappointing 2006 season, is acting quickly to get back on the right track. It is believed they are preparing to make a megabucks offer to J.D. Drew by the end of Monday that will easily top the $33 million Drew walked away from in Los Angeles. One person suggested it may even exceed the deal former Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon got with the Yankees, $52 million over four years. …

While the ESPN.com report that Boston bid between $38 million and $45 million for the rights to Matsuzaka remains unconfirmed, and one person said those figures were "not accurate," baseball executives here do believe the Red Sox will still win the sealed auction for the Seibu Lions right-hander with a bid somewhere in the mid-30s or higher. There were multiple bids that hit or exceeded the $30 million figure, but no one seems to think anyone has outbid Boston.

It sure would be a shocker for another team to be announced as the winner now — to the point where you’d have to question whether everything was above-board.

Thanks to faithful poster TJ for finding this stuff while the rest of us were working — or at least pretending to work.

70 comments… add one
  • GM Meetings time should be federal holidays. :-p

    TJ November 13, 2006, 3:11 pm
  • from Orestes Destrade via Boston.com
    Orestes Destrade, the former Yankee prospect who became one of Japan’s most prolific home run hitters before returning to the major leagues with the Marlins, said that his sources tell him the Sox submitted the highest bid for Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
    Destrade, who worked in Japanese media for several years, remains a popular figure in that country, and has maintained good contacts with influential people in the Japanese game, say his sources tell him that the Sox bid more than $50 million for the rights to negotiate with Matsuzaka. That would eclipse the estimates made by ESPN’s Buster Olney, who cited information saying the Sox had paid between $38m to $45m.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 3:13 pm
  • That’s insane. If the Sox want to spend all that cash, kudos to them. But then, can we have a moratorium on all the “Evil Empire”, “Yankees buy championships” etc. nonsense?

    yankeemonkey November 13, 2006, 3:18 pm
  • cue the march!
    http://tinyurl.com/yfkwft
    welcome, sox fans. welcome.
    i will say this: the rivalry is alive and well. things will be interesting next year.
    god, i can’t wait until spring.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 3:19 pm
  • Hah!
    YFiB: great minds…

    yankeemonkey November 13, 2006, 3:23 pm
  • yankeemonkey, i expect to hear that these moves were made necessary by the yankees gluttony, that it was NY’s fault and that the yankees are to blame for the sox’s ballooning payroll.
    the sox fans i know blame the yankees like yankees fans blame rodriguez. it is reflex.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 3:23 pm
  • I just don’t believe the $50M figure. If everyone else bid between $30-35M and the Sox went to $42M, I wouldn’t think it as excessive as is being portrayed.
    But $50M… That’s a lot of money.

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 3:24 pm
  • if gammons says $42M, i am inclined to believe him. i thought the yankees would go as high as $32M, and i thought that was pushing it.
    as much as i wanted this kid on the yankees, that money is staggering.
    so, are sox fans feeling the rush? are you excited? i must admit that i feel a sting.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 3:31 pm
  • Dear Red Sox Season Ticketholder,
    In an effort to pay for D-Mat and remain competitive in the AL East, effective 2007, all seats in Fenway Park will now seat two fans. As a result, your former longtime season tickets: Box 23, Row H, Seats 1 and 2, will now be located at: Box 46, Row P, Seat 1L and 1R (Left and Right). As a thank you to the most loyal fans in the world, price per ticket will only increase 7%, rather than the proposed 10%. Bettah lay off the chowdah this wintah.
    Sincerely,
    JWH and LL

    knuckles November 13, 2006, 3:35 pm
  • …damn, that’s a lotta t-shirts…

    dc November 13, 2006, 3:46 pm
  • NAPLES, Fla. — Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will learn Tuesday whether the Seibu Lions have accepted a bid for him by a major league team.
    Major League Baseball and the Japanese commissioner’s office will make simultaneous announcements at 8 p.m. EST Tuesday (10 a.m. Tokyo time Wednesday), MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said Monday at the big league general managers’ meetings.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 3:46 pm
  • this is a risk I’m not used to the Red Sox taking. Oh well, a rotation that includes this guy can’t be worse than any other rotation in the AL East. Getting this kid, along with a possible #5 guy will, on paper anyhow, will be a very formidable rotation – especially in a short series.
    Also, if the JD Drew stuff is true, I love it.
    These two major moves, and the Manny talk hasn’t even started yet.

    Brad November 13, 2006, 3:56 pm
  • and will they get lugo?
    who will they get to close? (is hansen ready?)
    i want the season to start as soon as the yankees get a couple more arms.
    3.
    3 more arms.
    and a 1B.
    yeah. then it’s on.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 3:58 pm
  • As a general response to YFs,
    I never thought the “Evil Empire” thing was that great a phrase to trumpet in the first place. Maybe I’m wrong on this, but the Red Sox have made decisions not based on not having the money, but on not handcuffing themselves in a payroll sense since the new ownership took over. I must express no shock that Henry, Werner, and co. were (probably) able to come up with $42M to bid on Matsuzaka. None at all. And the probable 3/30 or 4/40 type contract for a 26 year old who could take the league by storm does not represent handcuffing the team in a financial sense in the first place. Is it the Yankees fault that the Sox bid almost outrageously on this guy? No, not at all. Did the Sox do it with the Yankees (and a lesser extent, the Mets) in mind? I think the answer to that has to be a resounding “yes”.
    As far as the $50M figure, I like Destrade on ESPN when he’s talking about the “nuts and bolts” of the game, but I’m guessing he’s a little out of his element in relation to Gammons or even Olney as far as knowledge of contractual/financial transactions, even with his ties to Japan.
    The Red Sox were likely to sign a SP this offseason. Just based on relative youth and potential, I’m thrilled it’s Matsuzaka at a likely $10-11M/yr than Padilla/Meche/Lilly for a little less or Zito for a little more. Unproven, yes. But Padilla/Meche/Lilly have already PROVEN to be average at best (Padilla being slightly above, but with personal demons), while Zito has been well-pointed out as due for regression and certainly not worth a 5 yr. contract at 15M/yr. I think at worst, Matsuzaka matches the production of a Padilla/Meche/Lilly next year while providing the Sox more upside over the long run, at only slightly more per year. An easy decision in my mind.
    Most SFs have been anyway, but I think we should be cautious about the idea of Matsuzaka as an ace next season (maybe I’m telling myself this out loud). The probability of him needing at least the first half to adjust is pretty significant.
    Now, if the rumors about the offer for Drew are true, I’ll admit to being a little pissed. He’s a talented player, and should he be healthy over the length of his contract (very unlikely, IMO) would maybe be worth what the rumored offer is. At the very least, the possible offer is proof that the Matsuzaka posting fee is not going to limit their other goals this offseason. I’m also reluctant personally about any deal that might keep Ellsbury from a shot at the starting CF job in 2008.
    On a related note, not sure if it was Heyman or not, but a journalist today referred to Drew as hard-nosed. I’m calling BS on that one.

    Quo November 13, 2006, 4:11 pm
  • quo, i don’t think anybody is expecting matsuzaka to be an ace out of the starting blocks. are they? but he will be a solid arm, and you make a great point about the other trio being proven mediocrities.
    does anyone here think that a deal had been worked out with the lions as far as paying a portion of the bid amount, considering those reports of tampering attempts?
    i wouldn’t put it past the front office of either team discussed here.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 4:15 pm
  • In response to the MLB spokesman saying an announcment will come tomorrow, the Seibu Lions insists they will hold a press conference this evening EST Tuesday morning Japan time to announce what there decision is.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 4:23 pm
  • theo epsteinbrenner

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 4:24 pm
  • YFiB, I am feeling a rush, actually. It’s one of those things where I hoped for it beyond all reason but fully expected the Yankees to get it. I keep trying to temper my enthusiasm because it’s all unconfirmed — who knows, Seibu might rather go bankrupt with Matsuzaka starting every sixth game in 2007 — but it’s hard when Gammons confirms it.
    Incidentally, rumors say the Mets posted $38M, which would make the $42M bid not exactly an unwise, blow-em-out decision. Others have said the Mets were in the $30M range though, so who knows.
    Well said, Quo. I like calling the Yankees the Evil Empire because, well, they’re evil. Duh.

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 4:28 pm
  • Ok…I understand the pitcher and am happy that we may have gotten him.
    But J.D. Drew? Deal to “possiby” exceed that of Damon? Damon plays hurt, JD has kept Tylenol and Advil in business with all of his DL visits. Maybe I am missing something?

    Rob November 13, 2006, 4:34 pm
  • Something that has annoyed me from the media and some YFs during the last few days is the idea that a huge posting fee from the Red Sox would signal a change in the Red Sox front office philosophy regarding payroll/player value. It doesn’t, the posting fee has NOTHING TO DO WITH PAYROLL in any way. If the Red Sox made a huge bid, I’m guessing they had a group of really smart people in the FO do a model for what possible real revenue/cost affect the signing could have on everything from merch, to overseas broadcasting, to sponsorship and then took off a nice 20% or so buffer for a higher margin, and the number they were left with was the number they wrote on their bid, no matter what that number was, regardless of the media reports previous.
    These people aren’t stupid, at least from the business end, this would not be a light decision made without SERIOUS financial data to support it. I imagine the financial affect to the Yankees would have been a great deal less with Matsui already filling that role for Asian market share, they would have seen a little more pop, but not nearly as large as the Red Sox will see.

    LocklandSF November 13, 2006, 4:36 pm
  • if drew turned down 3 yrs at 33M, you can be sure he’ll want at least 35-40 over 3 yrs… the sox offered 4/$40M to damon, right? i don’t remember for sure.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 4:38 pm
  • That number seems about right for Damon YFIB

    Rob November 13, 2006, 4:39 pm
  • YFiB CNNSI suggests it may be in excess of the 4 year 52 million deal Damon got with the yankees, or 13 mil per.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 4:41 pm
  • Sign it. Seal it. Deliver it.
    “The Boston Red Sox have won negotiating rights for Japanese League star Daisuke Matsuzaka, SI.com has confirmed.
    The winning bid is thought to be for between $34 and $38 million.”
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/baseball/mlb/11/13/boston.bidding/index.html

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 4:42 pm
  • the deal he got with the yankees?!? whoa…
    alright. that’s another matter entirely. wow… thanks for the info, people. much obliged.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 4:43 pm
  • So lets review, when the day started the range was 38-45 million? now where anywhere from 30-50 million. Can’t wait for this to all be announced and offical.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 4:50 pm
  • I’m not sure how Drew is any more reliable than Damon. He set a career high last year with 146 games played. He’s two years younger than Damon, but if Johnny wasn’t worth $13M a year, why is Drew?

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 4:51 pm
  • it seems the pursestrings have been loosened. all it might take is the ownership giving theo a little (or a lot, depending on the situation) more wiggle room.

    Yankee Fan In Boston November 13, 2006, 4:53 pm
  • I remain cautiously optimistic on Daisuke-san. Assuming the “Lead Sox” won the bid and iron out a contract, everything else remains to be seen. I remember a lot of people being extremely excited about the acquisition of young fireballer about this time last year and now a lot of those same people are griping and complaining about it. (“Hanley wins RoY! Sanchez threw a no-hitter! Oh doom, doom, doom!”) Sure, there will be no prospects with which to judge Matsuzaka by, but his price tag will certainly follow him everywhere instead.
    So cautiously optimistic. If this is all true and a deal is reached, our rotation next year looks like this:
    RHP Curt Schilling, 40
    RHP Josh Beckett, 26/27
    RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, 26/27
    RHP Tim Wakefield, 40
    RHP Jonathan Papelbon, 26
    Thank you sir, may I have another? :) Would be nice to have a lefty in there somewhere, but that feels like nitpicking at the moment. And it’s a moot point if Lester comes back.
    Can’t say I’m too happy about the J.D. Drew rumor though. He’s the kind of player I thought this team was trying to stay away from. The aggressiveness is nice to see, though–makes me ever more confident that the Red Sox will be right back in it come 2007.

    mouse November 13, 2006, 4:55 pm
  • Heres a look at JD Drew and Johnny Damons 162 game average stats.
    JD Drew
    Runs: 102
    Doubles: 27
    Triples: 6
    Homeruns: 27
    RBI: 86
    Avg: .286
    OBP: .393
    SLG: .512
    Johnny Damon
    Runs: 113
    Doubles: 34
    Triples: 8
    Homeruns: 15
    RBI: 74
    Avg: .289
    OBP: .353
    SLG: .436
    Now I have no idea how to rate the arms aside from OF Assists but in 937 career cames Drew has 53 and in 1686 games Damon has 65 so One could say Drew has a better arm, and Damons arm has gotten less reliable the past few years.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 4:58 pm
  • Drew has more power and gets on base more often, which is surprising to me. Still, though, how is he less of an injury risk than Damon?

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 5:17 pm
  • as somebody who does have to endure my fair share of Dodger games, I’ll take Drew any day of the week – he’s a gamer who plays passionately. He’s the mirror image of Trot Nixon, only younger and better numbers. Also, he adds a lefty bat to the mix.
    As far as Lugo, I hope they know something I don’t.

    Brad November 13, 2006, 5:19 pm
  • I think that Drew has the appearance of always being injured. I took a look at the number of games played each year and he seems to play a lot.
    1999 104
    2000 135
    2001 109
    2002 135
    2003 100
    2004 145
    2005 72
    2006 146
    There are few years in there with a number of games missed. Granted that not every player is good for 162.

    Rob November 13, 2006, 5:31 pm
  • He seems to go every other year with an injury or two that cost him more than 40 games. That’s pretty significant. Granted, we’d have Wily Mo as backup (assuming no trades), but WMP is not as effective when used part-time.

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • Paul, Im guessing the idea of getting Drew enables Boston to trade Manny and then having Drew and Pena bat 4-5 as everyday OFs. Having Drew could enable Boston to possible look into dealing Crisp for something and having Drew in CF and Pena in RF and a plkatoon of Hinske and someone in LF for a season then moving Drew to LF for Ellsbury in ’08.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 5:44 pm
  • TJ, Yeah, I think the idea posted above where Manny is traded for Ervin Santana/Brandon Wood works well if we have an outfield with Crisp (LF, natural position, above average defense), Pena (CF, natural position, better than normal defense), Drew (RF, familiar position, can’t be worse than Pena there on defense).
    That’s a good defensive outfield, and a good offensive one, to boot. Crisp gets the Sox nothing on the trade market, so might as well let him recover and contribute in 2007 before trading him on a high note to make room for Ellsbury (if you’re going to trade him at all).

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 5:47 pm
  • What I don’t get is how SF’s refuse to acknowledge that while you can take discounts at the “20 mil$ per”, the fact is that *every team* can do that, to some varying degree. And it’s still expensive for the other teams (including the Mets, who I previously thought as the frontrunner)..
    The only way I can see how this deal would work out is that the Sox drives the FA market even more insanely high that it’ll justify it…

    Lar November 13, 2006, 5:54 pm
  • Rob makes a good point. I still am probably foolishly adhering to the media’s claim of him being a fragile player. But, honestly, how healthy was our CFer(or RFer or LFer) last season? Damon kind of spoiled SFs (and now YFs) who want their players to play through most non-catastrophic injuries. Most players don’t do that. Also, even if he isn’t healthy the entire season, a four-man OF rotation of Pena/Manny/Drew/Coco(assuming his finger is back to normal) should be quite productive, as long as Pena continues to make small steps forward. I’m still lukewarm, as all of our starting OFs last year were injured for significant periods of time, but Pena/Coco at least are more than likely to hold up over the course of the season next year, so as long as Drew/Manny aren’t injured/ailing at the same time…

    Quo November 13, 2006, 6:15 pm
  • Lar –
    How much money, would you assume, Ichiro has generated for the Mariners since he’s come over? What about Matsui for the Yankees? You can’t possibly see how this deal may work to be in the Red Sox favor? Really?
    If this kid works out, it’s very possible that the money generated dwarfs the money spent – easily.
    I’m sure that somewhere within the hallowed confines of Fenway Park, Theo and Co. had several more qualified and more intelligent people (on this issue anyhow) to cover all his bases. To be sure, this whole deal is not based on a hunch that it might work out. My guess is, that the Red Sox had deals in place before ever entering the bid…

    Brad November 13, 2006, 6:17 pm
  • To be sure, this whole deal is not based on a hunch that it might work out. My guess is, that the Red Sox had deals in place before ever entering the bid…
    The Sox only have to pay the bid price if they are able to sign him to a contract. So theres no penalty to Boston should they not.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 6:34 pm
  • Quo, I am also buying into the media claim of Drew being fragile. He would in the very least not have to shut down for emotional problems. There is a point to how fragile the whole outfield was last year. Perhaps the Hinske/Pena platoon works with Hinske also platooning at 1st?

    Rob November 13, 2006, 7:28 pm
  • Brad – I’m not saying that it wouldn’t work in the Red Sox’s favor, I’m just saying that (assuming most of the baseball people are smart enough to know their own “true cost”) the “salary” (yes, with the naive amortization) of every player already factors in their marketability, etc. (basically a long-winded way of saying the market’s efficient).
    The average player generates more money than money spent – otherwise, it’s not a business, it’s a money sink. And that’s the big “if” here, the “if this kids works out.”
    The arguments you have I don’t disagree (in fact, if you look back 10-15 days, I was raving about him, but at 10-12 mil, not 20. Obviously, I was way off on this one, since every team is bidding enough.)
    I understand he has a high ceiling, but the volatility doesn’t come from his skills (unless he gained 30 lbs and break his arm) but from the fact that he’s an unknown.. and they’re paying through the roof for that..
    I will, as I’ve said before, give the BoSox credit for making a bold bid, and the end result of getting into the Japanese market might very well be worth it in itself. I just don’t rationally believe that paying 10 million dollars more than anyone else is offering is worth it (if 45 stands up anyhow, if it’s 35, it’s waaaaaay more reasonable.)
    I can see how the Red Sox benefit, just like overpaying on a coin flip can totally double your money, but rationally, is it worth the risk? I’m not saying he’ll be Irabu, but how much is it for him to be worth it? What about an “average” 4.5 ERA pitcher?

    Lar November 13, 2006, 7:29 pm
  • By the way, for every Ichiro and Matsui, there’s Kaz Matsui and Irabu. Both I’ve heard was suppose to be really good. Not on the Matsuzaka level but the point is the possibility exists..

    Lar November 13, 2006, 7:30 pm
  • Guys, Drew IS fragile. Physically. He played 72 games two years ago. And just over a hundred two years before that. And just over a hundred two years before that. Let’s not kid ourselves. If the Sox sign him, the best we can expect next year is 140 games, tops. More realistically, we should expect something in the 125-130 game range, based on his history. No irrational exuberance here.
    As for Drew making more money than Damon, it’s irrelevant. Damon was part of a different market last year, in which the Sox had other needs, and in which they had another player at the same position lined up and at far less money. This year the options on right field are Trot Nixon (notoriously fragile, if hard-nosed) and now, somewhat surprisingly, Drew. While spending more money for Drew than they spent on Damon seems a bit nuts considering Drew’s history, the fact is he plays a different position and another year has gone by. I am not sure I love the idea of Drew signed for that much money, but I am also not sure I see too many good options there, particularly if there is intent to move Manny. This would be a market-driven signing: simple supply and demand. Damon’s non-signing was the same thing, to a certain extent. The supply was greater, the demand for Damon’s services in Boston much smaller.
    Whether that was a mistake or not (last year, it was) is one year closer to being determined. But that’s irrelevant to a Drew signing, as far as I am concerned. There are just too many moving parts. Would the Sox have made this push for DM, had Damon been locked in? Would they have extended Beckett? It’s very hard to make assumptions about things like these, and isolating any one particular move is difficult to do.
    I think the biggest criticism one might make is that if the Sox thought Drew might opt out, and they thought they might be willing to shell 50M+ on him, then why didn’t they make a bigger push for Abreu? Not that they should have foreseen Drew opting out, but that is a GMs job, to know the markets and potential markets. Then again, we don’t know what the Phillies asked for from the Sox, either, at this year’s deadline. With Drew now, it’s nothing for something: no prospects traded, right fielder gained. Different market, again. But it is still a worthy avenue of criticism of Theo et al, if it turns out that Drew gets big numbers from the Sox.

    SF November 13, 2006, 7:41 pm
  • Philly wanted Hansen and Lester.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 7:49 pm
  • Well there you go. No deal.

    SF November 13, 2006, 7:49 pm
  • [Laughing] How fast did Theo hang up the phone after hearing that, I wonder?

    mouse November 13, 2006, 7:55 pm
  • Philly ultimately wanted Abreu’s contract off of their hands. Please see what the Yanks gave up to get him. It was a matter of the Yanks’ willingness to take on his whole contract. The Sox chose not to do the same thing. SF’s point stands.

    Nick-YF November 13, 2006, 8:02 pm
  • Anyword yet on the bids??? I thought there was a presser at 8pm tonite to announce it.

    Eric November 13, 2006, 8:35 pm
  • MLB said tomorrow nite but earlier today Japanese reporters were saying they japanese team was having a p[ress conference tonite. its about 10:38 AM in Japan right now.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 8:38 pm
  • …in addition to the stats that have been posted, drew is a few years younger than damon…i think the sox felt that damon would start to tail off as he aged, and were reluctant to tie up any more money than they offered…
    …we’ve kicked the “true” cost of DM around quite a bit, and the only conclusion that can be drawn, is that you just don’t know at this point…if the marketing opportunities were that lucrative, [and the yankees have that experience with matsui], you’d think the yankees would have overbid by some ridiculous amount just to play keepaway…or, the yanks just miscalculated on this one and missed the boat…
    …quo, i wouldn’t be surprised to see boras ask for a 5 year contract for DM…according to olney, his “source” told him that the rangers were prepared to offer 5/50, but their bid was rumored to be too low…knowing that, boras may try to use that as leverage, otherwise DM could walk and try again next year under much different circumstances…
    …you may not personally buy into the “evil empire” battle-cry, but you are in the minority…i’ve consistently heard that rant [or similar] on this site at least once a day since i started participating a few months ago…it’s only stopped in the past week or so…coincidence, i guess…even the sox management has participated in that spin…theo used that excuse at the trade deadline…it’s a big difference saying you can’t go toe to toe with the yankees financially, and admitting that you won’t…i’ve been scolded on this site for suggesting that the sox had the money, but were a little tight with it…until now…
    …get over it lockland, there has been a change in the sox mgmt philosophy…it’s a lot of money without the bid [throw it out of the equation if you want]…DM’s salary alone will be $10m or more per year, and that’s a lot for someone with no ml experience…plus theo has acknowledged that there are a number of other holes to fill…if the drew rumor is true, there’s another pickup that won’t be cheap…before somebody blasts me, i’m not criticizing the sox mgmt…i think they know what they’re doing, and they realize that they may have to throw some money around to get where they want to be…

    dc November 13, 2006, 9:00 pm
  • you’d think the yankees would have overbid by some ridiculous amount just to play keepaway…or, the yanks just miscalculated on this one and missed the boat…
    Blind bid, dc. It’s a tricky business, and totally different from a conventional auction. Think about Ebay, just to be simple about it, and what if you had to put your FINAL bid in one time for an item you knew a few other wealthy people were bidding on, before ever watching the dynamic of the auction. And also for a unique item, which there will not be another auction for any time soon. How do you determine the final number? You only get one shot. The Yankees may very well have speculated that $28M was a high number, even for them, and iced it with another 4-6M to be safe, only to get beat by a team that wanted him more. Perhaps the Sox thought the Yankees would never expect them to top $30M based on their past unwillingness to break the bank indiscriminately (like the Yankees themselves ;-)) and played the Yankees expectations correctly. Perhaps the Sox only won the bid by 1-2M, which would indicate they guessed the market very, very closely. It’s still unknown at this point what the winning bid was, whether it was actually the Sox (I’ll believe it when Seibu announces it) or who finished second, third.
    Blind bidding is just not easy at all. You get one shot at it, and you have to make all sorts of assumptions about the other bidders involved, their desires, and their budgets.

    SF November 13, 2006, 9:18 pm
  • If it’s true that they made such an offering, congratulations to the Sox for making a “Spectacular Bid”. Now, will they sign him?
    It looks a bit tender around the edges when Boston was not willing to spend for Damon, Foulke, and somehow convinced that poor sap Arroyo to take a “home town blue light special” only to trade him to Cincy. I don’t knock sharp management: I admire it.
    The point is that if they do land him at the additional cost (which is sure to be steep; it’s Boras), I wonder if those three players mentioned afore that had contracts whose wiggle room was less than 20 percent of the alleged right to negotiate with Matsuzaka’s agent were really not worth the coin, but somehow this pitcher is. Curious. If he’s all that and a bag of cheetos, nice job Boston. From what I have seen, he may very well be worth the giant sack of Yen dropped on Seibu’s doorstep. Please remove your shoes. The spin is about to get deep on all sides.

    attackgerbil November 13, 2006, 9:24 pm
  • Heard a rumor, completely unsubstantiated, that sounds plausible and interesting — what if the Sox have talked with Boras and struck a deal whereby if they win the rights to DM, they get their way on that signing, while Boras gets his way on the Drew signing.
    Boras has no leverage in the DM case because the player wants to come to America, the Japanese team wantts their posting fee, and he can only negotiate with one team. So he throws out his previous three-year-contract only demands and DM agrees to a 5-year/45M (just throwing out numbers here); the Sox in turn overpay for Drew, paying more than Damon got, figuring that it’s worth it to lock up DM for the long term.
    It makes sense. And it explains why these Drew reports with such astronomical sums are coming out simultaneously with the Sox apparently winning the Matsuzaka bidding.

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 9:27 pm
  • Looking at upside and the worst-case projections of DM’s numbers, as well as his age and clean injury history, I’d say Matsuzaka is far more valuable than Damon, Foulke or Arroyo, particularly in the current market, AG.
    Whether that upside pans out, of course, is a completely different question.

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 9:29 pm
  • On a separate note, I am willing to bet that there will be a +/- $40-$50M difference between the Sox’ and Yanks’ payrolls this year. Those aren’t “toe-to-toe” numbers, no matter what the Sox spend on Drew, DM, etc. The fact that the Sox don’t spend money all the time doesn’t mean they never spend money, and they (like most other teams) don’t always spend what they choose to spend in wise fashion. Clearly the Sox have wealth – you can’t (supposedly) acquire a player for $40M without great resources. I for one have avoided denying that the Sox are rich. But I still think there is an organizational principle at work in the Hub which may be derived partly out of their financial means, which though great are not limitless. The Yankees still have an advantage on that front, though they too are certainly not limitless in their wealth.
    The DM transaction should not be used as proof that one team is as wealthy, or wealthier, than any other. As I said before, this goes for the Yanks and Sox alike. One has to look at the entirety of a team to make that kind of assessment.

    SF November 13, 2006, 9:30 pm
  • Since when has Scott Boras ever settled for less than “market”? Seriously. Not that the Sox won’t have leverage with DM (if he’s theirs), but how would that change anything? Boras, if he knows the Sox need/want Drew, has the leverage there. Everything’s equalized.
    I don’t see Boras cutting any kind of deal, unless he thinks it’s the best he can do.

    SF November 13, 2006, 9:35 pm
  • “Boras has no leverage in the DM case”
    Boras always has leverage because he’s an aggressive, near sociopathic, cold-hearted sports agent. The best in the business.
    He’ll play hardball. The leverage he’ll use is that in a year, DM can become available to all mlb teams, including the Yanks, and that these teams will pay a pretty penny for his services. SM stands to make $6 million in Japan next season. Not so bad. Boras could convince him to spend one more year in Japan if he feels Boston is lowballing him, and test the market in 2007. This is not to say the Sox won’t get a deal done, but I can’t imagine it being for less than #2 starter money.

    Nick-YF November 13, 2006, 9:57 pm
  • Boras can’t play that famous “mystery team” card in this case, though. The Red Sox have exclusive negotiation rights, and if Matsuzaka really wants to play in MLB (as is the story), it’s very possible that the Sox can sign him for a reasonable price. If he doesn’t take it, his only choice is to pitch in Japan for another year. What if he blows out his elbow or falls down a flight of stairs next year? Then he’d have lost out on the chance for a guaranteed pay day.
    A smart pitcher takes the money on the table. Job security.
    My guess is that they’ll get him for Beckett money or thereabouts, which is basically 3/$30, plus incentives and an option year. And Boras can’t claim that’s a “bad faith” offer, seeing as it’s the exact same money we gave to a (semi) proven MLB pitcher of the same age. I think that would be a fair price, and a win/win for both sides.

    mouse November 13, 2006, 10:29 pm
  • I think the Sox tie Boras’ hands by offering 5 years/$50M, forcing him to somehow figure out a way to criticize them for offering more money than he wanted (3 years only).
    Considering Seibu and Matsuzaka clearly want this done now, Boras has less leverage than usual. I overstated it by saying he has “no leverage,” but it’s certainly far less than usual. And since the Sox are the only team bidding for Matsuzaka’s services once the 30-day window opens, to some extent they alone set the market.
    I’m not saying this rumor has happened or will happen, at any rate. But it does seve the Sox’ purposes in keeping Matsuzaka for longer than Boras’ insisted three years, and it sevres Boras’ purposes in getting a big payday for another high-profile client.

    Paul SF November 13, 2006, 10:52 pm
  • What Will Cashman Do? He Won’t Panic, He’ll get someone in here
    The Yankees aren’t going into the 2007 season with a rotation of Wang, Mussina, Pavano, Johnson and some filler.
    I don’t know when or how but the Yankees know they have to improve their pitching and they’ll do it. They’ve lost out on Matzusaka. You can’t count/rely on Johnson (coming off a bad year and surgery) or Pavano in 2007.
    We all know the answer isn’t Zito. It might not even be Schmidt. I think the Yankees need two pitchers.
    You will not see a 2007 rotation of Wang, Mussina, Johnson, Pavano and Gil Meche. With the Red Sox having a staff of Schilling, Beckett, Paplebon, Matzusaka and Wakefield, with the Blue Jays staff and even the Orioles staff. The Orioles starting pitching (Loewen, Cabrera, Bedard and even Chris Benson, Jaret Wright) will be very good next year.
    The Yankees can’t enter the 2007 season with the 3rd or 4th best pitching staff in the AL East. Somehow Cashman will make something happen because he has to.

    Aguila November 13, 2006, 11:30 pm
  • Brian Cashman has only Jean Afterman as Assistant General Manager. Meanwhile the Redsox General Manager has Three Assistant General Manager to Theo. – The names are
    Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington , and Allain Baird. Also the Redsox have that Idiot Lucchino. Yankees should hire another person to help Cashman and become the third assistant general manager. Thoughts?
    I know Cashman still The Gm of this Team and he has the final says what players go. Hiring another person would not be a bad idea because he can help cashman and comments what deal can the yankees can make
    ) The Yankees really were interested in Matsuzaka (for good reason) and put in a bid anywhere from 20-30 million dollars (they also scouted him for years).
    2) The Yankees DON’T have any interest in Zito (with good reason) and they’re not going to pay him 15 million dollars a year, which he will earn.
    3) The Marlins don’t need young pitching — they have plenty. They need a centerfielder. They could use bullpen help, but it would take a LOT of bullpen arms to get Willis. And Tabata, the guy they might actually want, isn’t available.
    No Willis. Maybe another pitcher. But it’s doubtful. The rotation will be Wang, Moose, Pavano, Hughes/Sanchez, Rasner/Karstens out of spring training. If/when Randy gets back, whoever performed worse will go back to the minors, but Randy probably won’t stay healthy for the year — and Moose and Pavano might not either — so expect Hughes, Sanchez and maybe even Clippard to see plenty of time in the bigs. I’d feel more comfortable going into the season with a Wang/Moose/Hughes/Pavano/Sanchez rotation than anything else.
    One way or another, he will end up with the Yankees. They’ve been plotting this one out for months. Jean Afterman, the assistant GM, has basically one job in the organizattion and that is to get Matsuzaka.”
    Brilliant Quote Pete, the Red Sox pulled one over on the Yankees and you can rationalize all you want to but everybody knows the kid is sick. Did you watch the World Baseball Classic. The Red Sox will be tough to beat this year. And it will be glorious
    MLB.COM radio is reporting that the only reason the Red Sox bid was to keep him out of NY and they are going to negiotate low so he doesnt come here at all, another low classless move by them they operate like a single A team, plus John Henry is best buds with Selig,and any way to screw George they will do

    Anoynomous November 13, 2006, 11:34 pm
  • The Red Sox have every intention of signing him to a contract within the 30 day period.

    TJ November 13, 2006, 11:53 pm
  • No way the Red Sox don’t sign him. Too many bad things happen if they don’t — including the Yankees getting him next year anyway in free agency. Too many good things can happen — including the potential for three aces in one rotation (Matsu, Beckett, Papelbon, don’t forget Lester and Buchholz) for YEARS to come — if they do.

    Paul SF November 14, 2006, 12:03 am
  • Ya, I don’t like Willis, though at this point, it’s more irrational, but ya.
    I know I’ve critized it to hell, but I think at this point, it’s even a worse mistake to not sign him – can anyone imagine the publicity fallout, not to mention Yanks signing him next year.. wow.

    Lar November 14, 2006, 12:11 am
  • Matsu, Beckett, Paps, all aces? You’re right, that’s too many good things to count on happening.

    attackgerbil November 14, 2006, 6:01 am
  • Jeez, how about they all stay healthy for a season before we start counting our aces…
    Certainly having a high-upside young power rotation (with experienced guys in there for the tutelage) with two or three more young arms in the wings is a great situation to be in, but lets be a little patient. If all three guys throw 180-200 innings next year we should all be very suprised.
    Hidden gain: acquiring Matsuzaka makes the Sox’ farm system that much deeper. If he’s even just adequate, he allows the Sox to have a bit more patience with their farmhands, or he makes them convertible, trade-bait. The fact that DM is a free agent means that the Sox gave nothing (ok, not “nothing”!) up (talent-wise) to deepen their system. What is the cost of a #1 draft pick? Figure that the Sox just obtained THE consensus #1 pick in the amateur draft, but who has his minor league experiences already in the bag, who isn’t two to three years away from even being ready for a cup of coffee. What would that be worth on the open market?

    SF November 14, 2006, 6:19 am
  • Maybe about $42 million? ;-)
    I wasn’t counting our aces. I was saying the potential — I actually used the word “potential,” thus acknowledging that many things are unsure — of having all these guys in our rotation makes signing Matsuzaka a must. Aside from these guys all overlapping each other (if one guy is injured, there’s still the other two, etc.), they all have significant upside and ace potential. When you can sign a third potential ace, keep him away from the Yankees for a long time and open up a whole new continent for baseball development, you sign that pitcher.
    Sure, there could be injuries, underperformance, whatever, but you plan for that buy signing players like Matsuzaka. You don’t do it by ruining your good will in Japan and creatinge a PR nightmare.
    So I’ll say it again: The Red Sox will sign Matsuzaka because it gives them the potential for three aces in the starting rotation with two more in the wings.
    Not sure where that’s a debatable statement.

    Paul SF November 14, 2006, 12:41 pm
  • I agree. As crazy as I’ve been bashing the *huge* $$, I think at this point if they don’t sign (at least on Sox’s end), it’ll be even worse – they’ve got much to lose, if nothing else, in terms of publicity, in terms of killing your image in Asia, etc.

    Lar November 14, 2006, 12:48 pm
  • “Heard a rumor, completely unsubstantiated, that sounds plausible and interesting — what if the Sox have talked with Boras and struck a deal whereby if they win the rights to DM, they get their way on that signing, while Boras gets his way on the Drew signing.”…not sure who your source is on that one paul, but it makes no sense…even if it were true by some stretch, boras would be through, probably in jail, and the precious relationship with japan that you guys keep talking about preserving would be down the toilet…
    “Looking at upside and the worst-case projections of DM’s numbers, as well as his age and clean injury history, I’d say Matsuzaka is far more valuable than Damon, Foulke or Arroyo, particularly in the current market, AG.”…paul, should i be surprised that the players that are no longer with your team, are suddenly not as valuable as the guy you’re about to get?…and this without ever throwing a single pitch for you…

    dc November 14, 2006, 9:09 pm

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